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Time to change timing chain

Question : MY 1991 Mercedes Benz 260E has covered 180,000km. There is no mention in the owners' manual on the renewal of the timing chain so could you advise on when this is necessary?

Also, could you please elaborate on the differences between "single" and "twin" timing chains.

Answer : THE timing chain is a more robust method of power transfer than the toothed rubber belt. The metal chain has an almost infinite operating life but is a little noisier in operation and is more expensive to manufacture compared to the rubber belt.

Renewing a timing chain usually involves more work than replacing a toothed rubber timing belt.

The chain itself usually does not fail but problems are caused by other factors. The most common is lubrication failure caused by blockage of the channels sup- plying oil to the chain tensioner. A lack of lubrication results in wear on the surface of the tensioner along which the chain runs.

A worn chain is characterized by a rattling noise, usually on gentle acceleration. If this happens, renewal of both chain and tensioner is the only remedy. In some cases, the chain driving sprocket(s) require replacement as well.

Single or simplex timing chains have a single row of rollers whereas the double or duplex chains have two rows of rollers. Duplex chains are inherently stronger than simplex ones.


Timing chain or timing belt

When to change

What a waste

Change chain when it rattles

Time to change timing chain

Self service

Elantra suddenly stopped


Safer to change other bits, too

Doubting the manufacturer

Belt too tight

Timing chain

Belt or chain?

Timing Belt

Timing chain

Spark plugs
Timing belt


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